• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

If you are like most social media managers, your first goal is to create content that will get your audience to engage. Share, likes, and comments are all good as gold regardless of the platform. The only problem with using engagement as your key objective is that you have to get people to see your content first. After all, you can’t get engagement if you don’t get views. What’s the best way to ensure that your content gets seen? Make sure you are providing value to your audience.

Let’s think for a minute about what it means to add value. When it comes to social media content, providing value means giving your audience something they can’t get anywhere else. Exactly what that is will depend on your particular circumstance but let’s talk about the top 5 ways you give your users value through social media, regardless of your product or service.

  • Solve a Problem: When you solve a problem for your audience, you are making their lives better and perhaps removing an obstacle that is preventing them from achieving their own goals. There are many ways to create content that solves problems. A how-to can be a great way to do this but so can an answer to a question, a product discount, or an informative product review.
  • Tell A Story: Storytelling is a great way to help your audience learn more about you, your company, and your products. Success stories, stories that give insight into your mission, profiles of your team or your customers, can all help your audience learn more about your and add value.
  • Make Something That is Complicated Simple: Infographics and lists are particularly good ways to turn difficult topics into something that is easily understood. While technical content lends itself well to this type of content, your subject doesn’t have to be technical. A description of a process can also work well in graphic or some other easy to follow format.
  • Teach: Common questions that users have can be fertile territory for developing content that will teach a lesson about your industry, your product, or your company. How-to videos can be particularly good for this along with solving problems.
  • Ask Your Community What They Need: Of course we should know our customers well enough to anticipate what type of content will bring them the most value but sometimes it’s still best to go straight to the source. Reach out to your audience to ask them what they need. You might be surprised what you’re missing.

Developing content that gives your friends, fans, and followers value may take a little work, but it is sure to pay off. Once your community learns that the information you provide will make their lives easier, they are sure to come back for more. They are also like to pass it along to others. Providing value to your followers will pay off in spades in terms of brand loyalty, trust, and online presence.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

No social media strategy can be successful if it is created in a vacuum. That means that you need to know what your audience wants from your social media. Luckily, there are lots of tools out there to help you assess the type of content that will get engagement.

Gather data

How do you know what your audience wants to see on your social media posts? Well, all you have to do is ask. That means a survey or some other way of gathering data. Surveys are a great way to assess your audience, and nothing beats hearing directly from the target market. Surveys do have pitfalls, however, and you should get professional help to ensure that you are asking the right questions in the right way.

Understand the analytics

The information you gather from an audience can be even more powerful when you supplement it with data about the actual activity you have on your social media pages. Each of the major channels provides real-time tools for gathering information about your audience. These tools are typically referred to as social media analytics. They are offered so that you can assess exactly who your audience is and what type of content is most effective in encouraging engagement.

Different platforms, different tools

How much detail you can get about your audience will vary for each tool. Facebook, for example, will allow you to look at other pages that your followers like. The Instagram analytics you have access to will depend on the type of page you have, but you can always find out what hashtags your followers are looking at. Twitter offers demographic information but also provides information regarding hashtags and interests as well.

Drill down

While each analytics tool is a little different, most offer data in both tables and graphics. You can drill down to view the make-up of your audience by some factors such as gender, age, and geography. You can also learn much about what type of content they are looking at, sharing, and commenting on.

Work the plan

Creating a social media strategy requires a good deal of investment—both time and money. You need an effective way to make sure that your plan is working. Talking with your audience will give you the best information to fine-tune your content and your message. When you monitor who is looking at your content, and if they are engaging with it, you can assess how well your plan is working.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

No matter what your business is, the people you connect with are the key to your success. Those connections are the key to sales, operations, and how you get your work done. No doubt you have lots of ways to keep in touch—phone, in person, social media, email. But what about making new connections?

Those methods are all effective when it comes to your existing contacts. But what about finding new prospects?  You probably already network, ask for referrals, and maybe even advertise. But are you using LinkedIn to find prospects?

LinkedIn is well known as a great place to find a job, connect with colleagues, and keep up with what’s going on in your industry. What you might not know, however, is that one of LinkedIn’s newest tools, the Sales Navigator, is a powerful platform that can help you uncover potential sales prospects.

Why Should You Be Using LinkedIn?

The true value of LinkedIn is that it gives you access to millions of professional people just like you. That’s a pretty good size social network. Maybe even too big since it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where Navigator comes in. Using Navigator you can narrow down your potential contacts to those with whom you have something in common or mutual business interests. Whether that is decision makers, influencers, potential partners, or buyers, you’ll be able to reach out and make contact. Once you’ve found your target,it will be up to you to make the sale.

Using LinkedIn For Research

As valuable as LinkedIn is for connecting with others, it isarguably even more helpful when it comes to research. Using Navigator, you and your sales team can learn more about those you come in contact with – what are they talking about, what are they sharing, who do they follow. By taking advantage of this powerful capability, you can ensure that your connections are more meaningful and substantive.

One thing that you need to know is that LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium service and is not free. Exactly how much it costs depends on the type of membership, but you can expect somewhere between $75-$100. Is it worth it? Only you can make that decision. Your best bet is to take advantage of a free trial or sign-up for a short period and put it through its paces. If you take advantage of all the tool has to offer, chances are you’ll be hooked. Before you know it, your sales calls will be more focused, your network larger, and your relationships deeper. With all that, increased sales will be the icing on the cake.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

If you use social media for your business, then you know that content is king. You also know that in order to keep your followers engaged you’ve got to post on a consistent basis. Long stretches between posts can cause your community to lose interest. Posting too often can lead to your content becoming part of the background noise. The key is to strike the right balance between posting too little and posting too much.
 
With all our competing priorities and how quickly time passes, keeping up with a regular posting schedule can be a difficult challenge. Even when we start out strong it’s easy to get sidetracked. Luckily, there is a simple, time-tested tool that can help you stick with your plan – an editorial calendar. Use our five helpful tips for creating an effective calendar and you’ll be well on your way to successfully implementing your social media strategy.
 
Tips for Creating a Social Media Editorial Calendar
 
Decide the channels to post on and frequency. Take stock of the social media channels you use and determine how frequently you need to be posting. Determining the right balance can be tricky and you should be prepared to make adjustments as necessary.
 
Set aside time for planning. Allocate a block of time to create your master calendar. Once you have created your calendar, schedule time each week to review your calendar, make adjustments, and monitor your success.
 
Determine the type of content you’ll post and the quantity. Your content likely falls into types. For example, some posts are promotional, some are informational, others are purely for engagement. Decide how much of each type is appropriate for each of your channels.
 
Keep just one calendar. Keeping multiple calendars might sound like a great idea, but it actually makes it harder to keep organized. Save yourself some time and consolidate your editorial into one comprehensive tool that can be shared by the members of your team.
 
If you don’t have monthly themes, consider setting them. Having a framework for your social media can help you narrow down your posts and refine your plan. One strategy we recommend is using monthly themes to help you target your content. Your themes can be designed around whatever makes sense your for your business. For some people, topical subjects such as “how-to,” testimonials, or informational may work. For others, themes such as showing gratitude, paying it forward, or customer appreciate make more sense.

 
Exactly what your editorial calendar will look like is up to you. Creating a calendar that works with your current processes and makes your job easier will help you stay on track.
 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

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